Special guests: dr. lorraine haricombe and Doug Barnett
Attendees: Allyssa G (facilitator), Gilbert B, Jennifer H, lorraine h, Doug B, Cindy F, Frank M, Andres R, Ann M, Dale C (blogger), Ronda R
I Remember + Introduction (Allyssa G)
We shared our reasons for joining: DASIG accomplishes change, represents our activist views, promotes diversity within the Libraries and a diverse staff, and the Libraries are a place where diversity is valued.
Lessons Learned at February 4 Meeting (Jennifer H)
We will meet at our regular time, on our usual day, in this case Feb 4 at 10 AM. Betty Jeanne Taylor of the Office for Inclusion and Equity (OIE) will be our moderator. Jee, Dale,a nd Jennifer will discuss the structure of the meeting with Betty Jeanne in the coming weeks. This session will be our year in review: what did we do, our accomplishments, any critique, changes, that we can implement. We may be able to go deeper with Betty Jeanne and explore our interests in inclusion and equity, the workshop we did last spring, our thoughts and intentions for being in DASIG, events on campus that inform our work in the Libraries.
Some suggestions for the session: help with establishing priorities and a way to move forward, methods of communication, what are our responsibilities as ambassadors of what we learn/how do we disseminate what we’ve learned, explore personal intentions of commitment to DASIG, and have all of these in mind in advance.
Jennifer H will send out the results of the planning meeting shortly after it takes place on January 19.
Inclusive U App Demo (Dale C)
We watched the video that Jeremy T and Ben R put together explaining the Inclusive U app. Some of the discussion included a suggestion to add a polish app demo in the app itself. Lorraine approved the app for publishing. Doug inquired about the pages on the Libraries that were chosen, and how we established our partnerships. We discussed the process of how we came to work with the GSC and DDCe, and how those relationships might expand in the future for further collaboration.
Discussion of article on Black Muslims and Islamophobia (Allyssa G)
One part of a community can be lost in current events that focus on another part of that same community. Intersectionality is an important concept to keep in mind as a result of this article and in our DASIG work. The idea of the model minority came up: the need to be more successful than the norm, held to a different standard, and being responsible for representing an entire community. We also discussed the Diversity Residency Program in this context: that person could be considered to represent a whole group, and this would be an undesirable outcome for the position. We also talked about how anti-Islamophobia work has actually worked against the Black Muslim population. In this case, even if you “belong” to a group, it doesn’t necessarily represent you. The work of constantly reminding others of one’s existence is exhausting. DASIG’s work is important in taking off some of that burden, making it known. Dale C expressed her thanks that everyone read the article in advance and took the time to consider a situation that we don’t normally hear about in the media.
Open Q & A with lorraine and Doug:
The DASIG report was one of the first reports that lorraine received when she started with UTL in February 2015, and she has been very pleased with the partnerships that we established and the work that we’ve done. UTL strives to be an innovative leader, and the Inclusive U app is a great example of that.
The VPC discussion focused on the nationwide diversity issue and the fact that students bear the brunt of diversity experience. The conclusions of the VPC meeting included:
- that DASIG be elevated to a standing committee: diversity and inclusivity are the core of what we stand for. We are a clearly committed group as we are, and we should continue our work, but the structure of this is as yet unclear. LSC may be a possible partner; Jennifer H will work with us on this.
- that DASIG is charged with developing a statement of UTL’s commitment to diversity.
- that the student ambassadors program as elaborated in the DASIG report is low hanging fruit that we can expand upon in the short term. This is something that could be moved forward easily. Other recommendations from the report could be moved forward in the fullness of time.
- Chris Carter will come to us about flexible, ‘safe’ spaces that VPC is interested to establish throughout the Libraries. These are spaces that we could highlight in the Inclusive U app. We would want to do a survey of needs, and focus on overlapping, flexible spaces. They don’t all need to be private, and in fact, we should make them visible with signage and app highlighting.
- The Diversity Officer position is deferred for now; but this is something that will start to be addressed by making DASIG into a standing committee.
Overall, Lorraine would like to clearly demonstrate that UTL is committed to these issues, and that we have space and resources.
Other recommendations that came out of our Q&A included making the Inclusive U app resources available through other means, because not everyone has an iPhone or even a smart phone. Bias may be a future topic that we would like to take up. And we should see ourselves as a bigger piece of the diversity puzzle on campus.